Earth scientists part of Nobel Peace Prize-winning U.N. climate change

October 12, 2007

University Park, Pa. -- The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which shares the Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore, involves several Penn State earth scientists as members of the core Working Groups, authors or expert reviewers.

IPCC is a network of more than 2,000 scientists who assessed on a comprehensive and objective basis the scientific, technical and socioeconomic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation.

The Fourth Assessment Report "Climate Change 2007," which provide a comprehensive and up-to-date assessment of the current state of knowledge on climate change, is expected to be released soon.

At least five Penn State scientists are confirmed as IPCC members. They are:

-- Richard Alley, the Evan Pugh professor of geosciences, is a member of Working Group 1 (The Physical Science Basis of Climate Change) and is lead author on Chapter 4 of the Fourth Assessment Report and a contributing author on Chapter 10. He also served on the writing team for the Summary for Policymakers and the Technical Summary. His testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives Science Committee is available at http://democrats.science.house.gov/Media/File/Commdocs/hearings/2007/ful... online.

-- William Easterling, dean of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences and professor of geography and earth system science, is a lead author for the Working Group 2 (Impacts and Adaptation) chapter on implications of climate change for food (agriculture), forestry and fisheries. His 2007 testimony to the House Committee on Science and Technology as a representative of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is at http://live.psu.edu/story/23767 online.

-- Michael Mann, associate professor of meteorology, is lead author of the 2001 Third Assessment Report for IPCC and an expert reviewer for the upcoming Fourth Assessment report.

--Anne Thompson, professor of meteorology, is a member of Working Group 1 for the topics of lower atmosphere and pollutants, contributing author to the First and Second Assessment Reports, and an expert reviewer for the Fourth Assessment Report.

-- Klaus Keller, assistant professor of geosciences, is a contributing author on Chapter 19, "Assessing Key Vulnerabilities and the Risk from Climate Change," in the Fourth Assessment Report, Working Group 2, and an expert reviewer for Working Group I.

These important reports are produced every five to six years to provide a comprehensive and up-to-date assessment of the current state of knowledge on climate change. They describe progress in understanding the human and natural drivers of climate change, observed climate change, climate processes and attribution, and estimates of projected future climate change.

Information about the IPCC is available at http://www.ipcc.ch/.

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Last Updated November 18, 2010